Thursday, August 11, 2011

Living in a Liquid Sky

I've been feeling somewhat adrift lately. Maybe it's the politics that have been dominating the news. Maybe it's that even though I'm retired I'm not through "doing" in the world but am not really sure what direction I want my "doing" to go.

As usual when my psyche has lost its footing I headed for the woods yesterday to realize, to make real again, who and what I am, a child of nature. In one of his blog posts this morning Kirk Tuck talked about his love of portraiture and commented that when other photographers showed him their landscapes and photos of patterns and details it bored him. For him portraits are what photography is all about because in shooting portraits the subject interacts, looking back at the photographer.

For me photography is about connection too but I go to the woods and connect with nature. I consider my flower photos to be portraits. I'm not just trying to get a good enough photo so that the viewer can look at it and say "Oh, That's a ...(fill in the blank)". Rather I try, just as Kirk does with his human subjects, to get a real sense of the energy in my subject matter, that which animates it in that particular moment of its existence, the creative force that gives everything existence. We humans are part of nature too. We depend (although we often pretend that we do not) on nature to sustain us. It is good to spend time seeing the beauty in our fellow humans but we should also seek beauty in the rest of creation, to connect with the life energy in all things.

The photo above is a group of Pickerel Weed Leaves in Heron Marsh on the Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretation Center property, formerly a NYS project but now an outreach of Paul Smith's College. I've made three trips there in the last few weeks and there are other photos from those trips, 'portraits' of plants, mushrooms and flowers that I 'met' while there on my Flickr PhotoStream.

1 comment:

  1. Tom L.8:19 AM

    I can relate to your feelings about nature photography. I love bird photography, but lately when things are slow I've been looking for other nature/environment subjects. What used to be a down day can now turn into a rewarding outing.